05 Mar Fertility and nutrition: Are they related?
The causes for infertility are many – psychological, environmental, nutritional and hormonal factors, among others, affect the quality of semen and the ovulation process. Nutrition is a key factor in the biochemistry of fertility, since an optimal intake of nutrients will allow for the correct functioning of the organs and systems involved.
It is important to have a specialist at hand that can help you improve your diet so that it encourages and increases fertility in the couple. This article focuses on how food affects women, in addition to pointing out a few changes that you can make to improve your fertility.
Nutrition in women
Approximately one in four cases of infertility is caused by an impact of diet in ovulation. A poor nutrition can have negative effects in the production and quality of hormones. An adequate hormonal functioning is fundamental for the ovulation process to be successful, especially when referring to insulin, for which an excessive amount can interfere with the cycle, making it difficult for ova to mature properly.
Having a high carb diet with an excess of sugars, or eating high amounts of foods such as bread, potatoes, rice or flour – among others – forces the pancreas to release more insulin than usual for the body to assimilate all carbohydrates that were consumed. So what changes can you make in your diet to help you improve your ovulation?
- Limit your intake of foods that contain added sugars, such as refined carbohydrates.
- Eliminate from your diet foods that are high in Trans fats, such as potato fries, processed food or fast food. Instead, your intake should focus on unprocessed products such as greens and fresh vegetables, animal meat and eggs. The consumption of fatty acids such as Omega-3 is also recommended, which can be found in foods such as fish or nuts, and can stimulate ovulation.
Even though it might sound strange, it is also advisable to minimize the consumption of certain fruit with a high sugar content, such as the watermelon, dates, grapes or oranges. The intake of strawberries, banana and apples should be prioritized instead, which have a low/moderate glycemic index.
The intake of sugary beverages and juices also needs to be limited. In its place, it is recommended that you drink plenty of water, herbal teas and milk.
There is an article where we outline which vitamins and minerals can improve your fertility. Read it here.
At the PGDLabs genetic laboratory we work in collaboration with reproductive medicine clinics, offering genetic diagnosis services for infertile couples to help improve your reproductive ability. If you need more information, please contact us.